Orlando Sentinel's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 521 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 45% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Frankie and Johnny
Lowest review score: 12 Jaws: The Revenge
Score distribution:
521 movie reviews
  1. The Guard soars along on a script, like those by the other McDonagh (Martin wrote and directed "In Bruges" and the Oscar winning short "Six Shooter," both starring Gleeson) built out of verbal flourishes and Irish curses.
  2. The performances, direction and writing of one of the best pictures of 2010 make this Social Network every bit as addictive, and a little chilling as well.
  3. This unblinking look at America's Red State Crystal Meth Belt is an instant Southern Gothic classic.
  4. Duvall, an American Lear not going gently into that good night, reminds us that it will be a sad day indeed for movie fans when it's about time for him to Get Low.
  5. Although the filmmakers are subtle in their methods and unobtrusive in their interviewing style, they make their points forcefully.
  6. That rare film in which every performer in it leaves the viewer in awe.
  7. Artful, epic, operatic even, this thriller set in the world of ballet challenges the viewer with its intelligence and depth and wit.
  8. J.J. Abrams, with Steven Spielberg producing, has made one of those jaw-dropping out-of-body summer entertainments that kids old enough to swear and see PG-13 films will remember on into adulthood.
  9. A thriller that grabs you even before the ironies of its plot kick in is a thriller you don't want to miss. No Way Out is that sort of movie, a thriller that's thrilling throughout.
  10. Engrossing and moving story of a alternately warm and combative relationship.
  11. Ran
    Quite simply, Ran is a great, nightmarish motion picture.
  12. You buy the movie's premise because director Fred Schepisi evokes such a rich spirit of playfulness and romance that you want to buy it. [26 Dec 1994, p.D1]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  13. This is a story about people, not politics. And perhaps because we can see the actors in closeup on the screen, that is even truer of the movie than the play. When you leave this film, you're not thinking, "My, what an important story!" When Driving Miss Daisy is over, you think, "I sure will miss those folks." [12 Jan. 1990, p.12]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  14. Director Carl Franklin takes a simple premise and treats it so straightforwardly that the result is jarring - at times, even powerful.
  15. Paul Newman could win an Oscar for his strong, complex performance in The Color of Money. His Eddie Felson, so quick-witted and seemingly imperturbable in the early scenes, eventually drops his foxy pose to reveal some of the raw vulnerability of his Hustler days.
  16. It's a story about storytelling, with differing versions of events in which people die by the sword. Filled with Yimou's characteristic symbolism and zest for striking colors, it's a fictional account of the unification of China.
  17. It's a measure of Leigh's sensitivity that the big scene arises naturally, never threatening the delicate fabric of the narrative... And not only has Leigh grown as a storyteller, he appears to have acquired exactly the right amount of filmmaking technique to tell his story.
  18. Visually imaginative, thematically instructive and thoroughly delightful, it takes us on a roller-coaster ride from innocence to experience without even a hint of that typical kiddie-flick sentimentality.
  19. Frankie & Johnny is no big deal, but it has plenty of laughs and it's appealingly romantic. The movie is a collection of small, trivial things that add up to something that is, while not important, at least entertaining. [11 Oct 1991, p.22]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  20. By the end of the film, there's even something vaguely inspirational about our antihero's painful journey through the bowels of his self-created hell.
  21. You may see a better movie this summer, but I doubt you'll see a funnier one. [7 June 1991, p.8]
    • Orlando Sentinel
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This brilliant contraption of a film could become the hit of the summer. It's a cinematic Rube Goldberg machine whose parts connect in audacious, witty ways. [04 July 1985, p.E.1]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  22. What's pleasantly surprising about Gilbert Grape is that director Lasse Hallstrom generally maneuvers quite deftly around his self-created obstacles. In its gently ironic, unforced way, his movie manages to be both uplifting and funny, with the laughs never really being at anyone's expense. [4 March 1994, p.17]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  23. The idea behind Ruthless People is just about irresistible. Much of the fun of this comedy is in watching what happens as virtually everyone in the movie tries to double-cross or otherwise take advantage of everyone else.
  24. A stop any literary-minded movie-goer will want to make.
  25. Haneke tells this tale a bit too patiently for my taste. But the metaphors are unmistakable, as is the power of the film’s message.
  26. Although I would rate Part III beneath Part I, the final installment does have the blessing of closure: There's something undeniably satisfying about seeing all those loose ends tied up. [25 May 1990, p.7]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  27. It isn't a great film. But it is a smart and high-minded one, wonderfully cast, with understated direction. Clooney is good enough in the lead to stir talk of a political future.
  28. Reeves has Americanized a very good foreign film without defanging it.
  29. Yes, it's pretty much a must to have seen the first film. Where Dragon Tattoo felt like fall, Played with Fire was shot in the Swedish summer, which suits the faster pace, ramped up violence and fresh collection of supporting players -- cops, a kickboxer, and a couple of borderline Bond villains.
  30. Here's a documentary so slick, novel, touching and outrageous that your first thought might be "This has to be fake."
  31. The first third is brisk and witty, the middle third gloomy and the finale of Part 1 not so much a cliffhanger as a grim, inspiring tease, a masterly build-up to put "I can't wait for part 2" on every Muggles' lips.
  32. The best faith-based film ever made, an uplifting, entertaining and wonderfully-acted account of surfer Bethany Hamilton's life before and after a shark bit her arm off in the waters off her favorite Hawaiian beach.
  33. Saoirse Ronan shines in the title role, a wily, physically-fit and lethal girl.
  34. If you're looking for a filmmaker to document, for all of humanity, "one of the greatest discoveries in the history of human culture," the great Werner Herzog is your guy.
  35. With Win Win, McCarthy has found his emotional sweet spot, a sweet and complex story to set it in and the perfect title for it.
  36. It is Carrey, turning his patented rubber-faced, rubber-voiced shtick loose on a role with heart, substance and entertainment value, who makes this romantic farce a movie too good to sit on any studio's shelf.
  37. There are people, powerful people, who don't want old cases dug up. It's a tribute to the story's construction that the mystery only deepens, the more Benjamin digs.
  38. That makes Sarah's Key that rare Holocaust tale that punches through the cobwebs of history and its dry, inhuman statistics, and brings that terrible past to life.
  39. That message, this script and these actors make Rabbit Hole one of the best films of 2010.
  40. Moneyball is a thinking person's baseball movie, and a baseball fan's thinking movie.
  41. An exquisite character study in grief.
  42. Davis and Spencer give faces and fully-fleshed out lives to women who must have been more than what they did for a living as The Help.
  43. Thanks to Banderas and his Corinthian leather purr and writers who know how to use it, "Puss" is the best animated film of 2011.
  44. The magic in the film is in the actors. Only somebody who has stripped himself emotionally bare for the camera could achieve the level of performance that Goldwyn gets from every single SAG member on this set.
  45. I Am Love is a cinematic orgy, a sensual Italian feast of food, sex, guilt and grief. An intimate, quiet and even slow movie, its subtle shadings veil turbulent emotions.
  46. The sweet, the comic and the tragic blend together most agreeably in the winsome French romance The Hedgehog.
  47. Rio
    Comical, colorful, wonderfully cast and beautifully animated.
  48. This latest Star Trek is a well-plotted, well-acted and consistently exciting addition to the popular movie series. [6 Dec. 1991, p.21]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  49. Of all the gonzo-goofy comic book adaptations that embrace video gaming sensibilities, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the gonzo-goofiest.
  50. This performance reminds us that Bridges is that rare actor who has never had to make that apology. Crazy Heart lets him be every bit as grand as we’d hope him to be.
  51. Chemistry is king. It's one reason the rom-com has long seemed like the toughest code for Hollywood to crack. But never underestimate the power of snappy, rapid-fire banter, the paving stones of the Hollywood road to romance.
  52. A chilling detective tale, a horrific sexual abuse drama and an overlong, emotional, tie-up-every-loose-end melodrama that is sure to be half an hour shorter when Hollywood remakes it without the Swedish dialogue and probably without the cool Swedish edge.
  53. It's an unblinking look into the lives of soldiers doing the most thankless job of all.
  54. Almost every shot is a postcard-perfect African vista, and every animal shown in majestic close-up.
  55. A most deserving Oscar winner and a film that could provoke discussion anywhere it is shown, anywhere people of any age are being bullied.
  56. The rawboned Hawkes manages both charm and menace in the same look, and Dancy gives his character a testy, fearful edge that doesn't make him scary, but rather someone we fear for.
  57. It's a bleak yet optimistic film, and Ferrell perfectly underplays his Carver anti-hero and delivers a rich, layered and subtle performance. And a funny one.
  58. Audacious, violent and disquieting, Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a summer sequel that's better than it has any right to be.
  59. Cassel's performance...the best reason to see this, one of the best French (In French with English subtitles) crime thrillers of the new millennium.
  60. Strip away the French and Arabic subtitles, the French-prison setting and the Muslim-messianic title, and A Prophet, opening Friday at The Enzian, would still be the grittiest prison thriller in years.
  61. That humor is a the delicious underpinning to whatever melodrama happens as these five connect and clash. And that humor is what reassures us, even at its darkest moments, that no matter how things work out for the adults, these kids are going to be all right.
  62. It's the best heist picture since "Heat."
  63. Dazzling, scary and sentimental.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In Bottle Rocket, the small scale and vague amateurishness (especially in the performances) are themselves rather endearing. They seem to go along with the screwed-up characters, as does the loosely structured plot.
  64. My Cousin Vinny is a hoot.
  65. By the soaring standards of Mike Leigh's career, Career Girls (which opens locally today) is a minor work. But minor-league Leigh is better than major-league most other people, especially because he possesses the most emotionally sophisticated sensibility of any contemporary filmmaker.
  66. Like the hero himself, the movie is larger than life - a horrific fantasy that gets carried away with itself as the mood builds and the tension mounts
  67. The Firm and The Pelican Brief, both of last year, were solid entertainment. Now along comes the movie version of The Client - the best of the Grisham film trilogy.
  68. For the most part, then, Tomorrow Never Dies is a straightforward action picture. And since the action is clearly and suspensefully staged, this unpretentious production turns out to be the best Bond flick in years.
  69. Much as I like Beauty and the Beast, I think I would have preferred it if its dark parts had even been darker. The brooding beast is a fascinating character to consider, and his fearsome battle with a vicious pack of wolves is one of the most powerful scenes in the movie.
  70. The Last of the Mohicans isn't a classic, but it's one of the most exciting action pictures to come along in recent memory.
  71. The Big Easy is as atmospheric as they come, but -- surprise! -- it's also sharp and swift. Plus, it has ample amounts of chemistry -- the steamy, sexy kind.
  72. The movie's sneaky intelligence pokes out in surprising, amusing ways.
  73. 300
    A newfangled old-fashioned movie about glory, honor, sacrifice and a martial code that crosses into fascism, homoerotism and homophobia at the same time -- there are plenty of turn-off buttons in this one. But by Zeus, this is a ripping yarn, told with limb-rending gusto, an iconic ancient battle as seen by an iconic comic-book creator, Frank Miller.
  74. Harrison Ford - that most decent of decent men - helps to carry the new film on his broad shoulders. With his blunt, Everyman features and sympathetically furrowed brow, he comes off as such a solid, good guy that it's impossible not to care about his upstanding character.
  75. This is the sort of breathless joyride that we expect - but don't often get - from a summer movie. [24 May 2000, p.E1]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  76. This Mission unfolds at a near dead-sprint -- frenetic editing, whiplash camera pans, all hiding an intentionally under-explained plot and generic action beats that will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen a ticking-clock thriller. But if Mission: Impossible 3 is the first pitch of the popcorn-movie season, just two words come to mind -- butter up. [5 May 2006, p.8]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  77. It's a lot of fun to watch - over two hours of thrills, spills, elaborate sets and special effects, all tied together by a pleasingly varied (and lighter than usual) musical score by John Williams.
  78. Outbreak is sharp, sometimes-exploitative entertainment that does its job with great efficiency.
  79. The action in Terminator 2 is edited for maximum suspense, and much of it is mounted on such a grand scale that little in movie history comes close. (Scenes in last summer's Die Hard 2 did, but they lacked the finesse of the new film).
  80. The direction, by Marc Forster (Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland), is breathless, with lovely grace notes — he uses silences to end his action beats. And if this incarnation of Bond still doesn't inspire affection, he does command respect, awe, a sense that a real man is risking life and limb for queen and crown.
  81. Sayles has created a lively and instructive entertainment, a moral tale that is everything The Natural (1984) should have been.
  82. Big
    The setup isn't exactly what you'd call plausible, but the follow-through is consistent and clever.
  83. The combination of a flexible, funny cast, an amusing situation and a style of movie-making that embraces every happy, nasty accident make this if not the funniest, then certainly the most uncomfortable comedy of the summer.
  84. Bad Influence has a somewhat effective screenplay, provided by newcomer David Koepp. The dialogue is much sharper in Bad Influence than it was in The Bedroom Window - although the new film's plot could have used more work. [09 Mar 1990, p.5]
    • Orlando Sentinel
  85. X-Men: First Class still sings the praises of Marvel Studios' marvelous quality control of comic book movies. It's good, clean summer movie fun where the money they spend is up on the screen - with actors and effects - so that we won't mind spending our money on it.
  86. The situations are painstakingly set up and downright painful to sit through. So enjoy, or endure the appetizers, because with this Dinner, dessert is truly the topper.
  87. Yelchin doesn't generate the same warmth or passion that Jones does. That is partly by design, as this whole affair was her idea, after all.
  88. The musical comedy whimsically and often cleverly revisits the characters, their shtick and and the TV show and movies that made them most famous.
  89. Incendies is occasionally compelling, but also overlong and vexing in the ways it draws out a "shocking" conclusion that we unravel long before the characters do.
  90. The Descendants lets Payne show us the Other America and the Other Americans - little lives caught up in small but epic problems far away from the La La Land of Hollywood hype, sex and violence.
  91. Zeroing in on Carr as the movie's "hero" was a smart move. He comes off as smart, confrontational and unconventional.
  92. In a genre - the animated holiday film - already overflowing with the sentimental, the silly Arthur Christmas is a most welcome treat to find stuffed into the cinema's stockings this holiday season.
  93. A low energy romance, a movie that rewards a filmgoer with the patience to let this affair play itself out. Sink or swim, Connie and Jack will come out of this changed. And so will we.
  94. In Mary, Leigh has found the polar opposite of Sally Hawkin's giggle-through-the-pain heroine of "Happy-Go-Lucky."
  95. This compelling-acted film explains, better than any soundbite, why people have taken to the streets, "occupying" centers of finance. If their rage is unfocused, Margin Call suggests, that's with good reason. There are no real heroes or villains here, just human beings with human failings making BIG human mistakes.
  96. Branagh and Williams are worth the price of admission, the former "wunderkind" of British stage and screen having a go at the pretentious, plummy Olivier.
  97. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer isn't entirely successful, but it's admirable nonetheless. The film is an honest and disturbing attempt to come to grips with the sort of modern horror that we must - more urgently every day - try to understand.
  98. The film doesn't go deeply enough into Hawking's theories to really explain them, and it doesn't go deeply enough into Hawking's life to impart anything but a sketchy understanding of the man. Still, considering the almost impenetrable subject matter, it's remarkable that Morris has gotten as far as he has.

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